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Effect of Temperature on Bone Tissue: Histological Changes

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Abstract

The analysis of burned human remains has been of great interest among forensic anthropologists largely due to the difficulty that their recovery, classification, reconstruction, and identification present. The main purpose of this analysis is to present histological methodology for the interpretation of bones altered by thermal processes. We include analyses of the microscopic changes among bones exposed to different temperatures, with the goal of establishing categories of histological morphology in relation to fire temperature. Samples of bone (ilium) were exposed systematically to controlled temperatures. Analysis of the resulting histological changes has allowed the formation of a clear four‐stage classification of the alterations observed. This classification should prove useful in assessing bone changes in relation to temperature of exposure, particularly in cases where this temperature was previously not known.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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